My London Film Festival Trailer Trash

Boy Grows Up

Poor Joe Wright. The beleaguered director of Pan described the last week to me as “bruising”. His big budget film has taken a bit of beating but he bravely turned out for the LFF Awards at the Whitehall Banqueting Hall last night and was in upbeat mood.

“It felt like being back at school and being bullied again,” he said. “Only this time it was on a global scale.” I felt I had to give him a little cuddle. “But you know, I can only learn from it. Such as, it’s the last time I let my five-year-old son Zubin edit my bloody movie…”

Still, I’ve no doubt he will bounce back very quickly. We jokingly ran through the list of big directors who’d flopped before. Joe had  done a surprising amount of quick research on this over the last couple of days.

“I’m holding on to people like Darren Aronofsky who took it big time for The Fountain then came back with The Wrestler and Black Swan,” he said. “And my big inspiration is Ang Lee, who came back from The Hulk with Brokeback Mountain, so, you know, it can be done.” I ventured David Lean’s poorly received epic Ryan’s Daughter, a director whom I know Joe admired. “Yes, thanks Jason, after that he never made another film for 15 years, so…”

There was Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, I said. But then he disappeared and everyone said he’d had a sex change, so… No, Joe will be all right.

Joe’s long-standing relationships with his film making collaborators such as production designer Sarah Greenwood and costume genius Jaqueline Durran are all still intact and he’s got a couple of intriguing projects still in the pipeline and, a few nervous phone calls this week, have confirmed he’s still very much in favour. I left Joe talking to Warner Bros European boss Josh Berger and they were on very friendly terms, so even the studio seem to be supporting him with some encouraging marketing fairy dust.